Why Third Year Arctic Ice Will Increase Next Year

Guest post by Steven Goddard

In spite of the excess global sea ice area and the freezing Catlin crew, AGW proponents have recently ramped up the rhetoric about “melting ice caps.”  This has been based on a couple of points.

1.  In the southern hemisphere, cracks appeared in a 200 metre thick ice shelf, as seen below.

http://www.ogleearth.com/wissm.jpg

The ice cracked, not melted – but that minor detail didn’t stop nearly every major news outlet in the world from hinting at the fiery and imminent end to the planet.

2.  At the other pole, NSIDC released an interesting statistic that Arctic ice “older than two years” reached a record low this winter.


http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20090406_Figure5.png

So what happened to the three year old ice in 2009?  The answer is simple.  During the summer of 2007, almost all of the 1st year ice melted.  Because of this, there was very little 2nd year ice in 2008, and 3rd year ice in 2009.  The amount of second year ice in 2008 had to be less than or equal to the amount of first year ice at the end of the 2007 summer.  Even if we had entered an ice age in 2008, there would not be much third year ice in 2009.
However, note in the NSIDC graph above that the amount of 2nd year ice (orange) approximately tripled in 2009 relative to 2008, from about 3% to 10%.  The implication being that (barring a radical change in Arctic conditions) the amount of 3rd year ice will likely expand significantly in extent in 2010.  Perhaps even triple in extent.  Simply because the “terrible two” year old ice will be one year older.  The red-brown portion of the graph should increase in height next year, as the 2nd year ice becomes more than 2 years old.  The top of the orange should also move up significantly, as the red-brown region below it pushes it up.
No wonder people are pushing so hard for “climate legislation” in 2009.  Graphs like the one below don’t look very scary, with global sea ice area 683,000 km2 above normal, and Catlin reporting wicked cold – day after day.
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.global.png

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115 thoughts on “Why Third Year Arctic Ice Will Increase Next Year

  1. If you download the map of the Wilkins Ice shelf and look at it yourself it’a tiny sliver out on the Antarctic peninsula which calves ice all the time. It’s not from the main continent. Cherry picked for a reason-AGW alarmism.

  2. Also fi you ask Svend Hendriksen nicely, he can send you a nice picture that shows an equally large or larger piece of the Wilkins ice shelf that broke up about 50 years ago, and is regrowing now. It is clearly visible since it is surrounded by a cliff off the last 50year’s precipitation growth of the main shelf.
    The wilkins Ice shelf is about -70 S and sticks out into the southern ocean which comes surging through there twise a day to buckle that ice.

    George

  3. Steven,
    Thanks for the article.
    The time frame for the Obama Administration to push for CO2 mitigation legislation indeed is closing.

    Four factors play a role:

    1. A growing number of people refute the concept of Global Warming.
    2. Political opposition is growing, especially since the GOP and twelve democrats stated that future cap&trade was not aloud to increase the costs of energy.
    3. Industry is involved in Lawsuits against EPA plans.
    4. The current cooling trend that has brought us harsh winters.

    Also see: http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/04/lines-will-soon-cross-if-he-keeps.html

    On a political level it will be a hot summer but not at the Arctic.
    Besides that it will be September before we know it.

  4. It’s both amusing and grim the extent to which the alarmists are now reaching for their rhetoric. It is becoming increasingly clear, though, what the answer is to a question I’ve been tormenting myself with for years. No longer is the alarmist campaign the honest result of genuine belief; it is turning out to be an increasingly corrupt endeavour. [snip - leave the brimstone out please] They are certainly damaging the edifice of science, and they are certainly damaging all of us personally, but the poorest of this earth the most. When are the suits for damages to commence, and how can the most egregious be assessed criminal penalties? This is a wrong which must be righted.
    ========================================

  5. Today the operations chief of the Catlin Survey said: “The overall focus is the science, so reaching the Pole is largely irrelevant to this expedition . . . . . . Of course reaching the Pole would be nice. After all the public perception is generally that all Arctic journeys should end there. But for us, it’s all about the science and gathering at the expense of everything else.”

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/headline.aspx?postId=160

    Riiiggghhht. All about the ‘science’.

    Baloney. It’s ALL about public perception. What kind of fools do they take us for?

    I mean helllooooowww! What was with the faked biometrics masquerading as science?

    It’s ALL about public perception and they know they’re running out of time as information such as Steven Godddard’s post comes to light.

  6. So where is the Catlin Expedition route on this map? Did they avoid the second year ice? Or did their shPRite radar thingie break down just before they got atop it?

  7. Here’s a good link to the “Ice Bridge”. You can see just how big but small when compared to all of Antartica. It didn’t melt it broke off due to ocean movements. Still they conclude that climate change is causing the shelf to calve into the sea. My question for you is then why is the south pole ice sheets expanded yet the authors keep saying the opposite even from their own data? That’s right politics not science. Someone is editing the author’s papers and adding these statements.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=37806&src=nha

  8. Steve

    Thanks for the informative article. If you have any data, I would appreciate a comment on the potential relationship between local sea level (around Antarctica) and cracks such as the one now in the Wilkins Ice Shelf.

    It seems to me that either rising or falling local sea level (caused perhaps by local winds) would tend to cause cracks between the grounded ice and the floating ice, as one chunk was lifted or lowered relative to the other.

  9. Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to the U. of Colorado Sea Level Change site, sea level near the Wilkins Ice Shelf has dropped (evidence of global cooling)over the past year or so.

    Would not all that water disappearing from underneath all that heavy ice be just as likely a cause of the cracking ice bridge as anything else?

  10. I agree Jim. A lowering MSL around the ice would cause tension in the Ice sheet and cause more cracks to appear. Someone with more experience than I chime in here. Ice like concrete doesn’t behave well in tension but is very strong in compression as I remember from my Strength of Materials. Correct my thinking?

  11. I’m getting too far away from the title of this topic. Back to ice age (sorry couldn’t resist). Next year most of the ice will be older than two year ice unless of course the Arctic sees another event that breaks up and subsequently allows for flushing of the pieces to lower latitudes to melt.

  12. My nomination for quote of the week from Kim:
    “No longer is the alarmist campaign the honest result of genuine belief; it is turning out to be an increasingly corrupt endeavour.”

  13. Anthony would love this…I think. A little OT, well not really. It speaks to our limited, in time, continuous, spatial coverage of sea ice measurements.

    I saw this plot posted somewhere else:

    and it made me a little peeved.

    We started measuring SST and sea ice extent by IR satellite and microwave sensor, respectively, in 1979 (I think). Not sure how sea ice was effectively measured before then, if at all (the key word being effectively).

    In that plot above, there is a huge step change in the data for sea ice extent for every month when there is usually some open water in the Arctic. Any thoughts as to why? Was sea ice extent successfully measured in the 50s and 60s, but only when the Arctic was fairly solidly ice?

    Upon that step change, I immediately thought it looked remarkably similar to a lot of the station data posted by Anthony, especially those from a station that was moved. So I guess the question would be, is there any way at all that these guys are comparing apples to apples and the sudden changes in 1979 are real? Any other geophysical data corroborate that?

    In answer to the above question, please do not bother with any time series that is populated by data from exceedingly different platforms (such as by proxy, in situ instrumentation and satellite). More than one of our long-term geophysical data time series undergoes a step-change at 1979 for some reason…

  14. Dear Moderator re kim at 17:31:49. I’m sorry to have put you to the work of snipping. I used to say that the only editor I would accept was Steve McIntyre, but I’m very pleased with the moderating at this site.

    I regret my reference to hot nether regions. I am certain that the verdict of history will be unpleasant for those most guilty of illicitly arguing the failing paradigm of CO2=AGW. I just wish the jury would hurry up and bring in the verdict. While they are pondering the evidence, the criminal is still running amok.
    ==========================================

  15. P. Folkens, 18:15:26.

    Thanks very much. I’ve worried over this question a lot. I still believe that Gore and Hansen started with the best of intentions, but they’ve not paid enough attention to the road signs along the way and are now leading us to ‘hot nether regions’.

    Last year I howled when Gore announced a $300,000,000 alarmist ad campaign, financed by ‘anonymous and internet donors’. I’m perfectly aware of the desire for anonymity among many of the most eleemosynary among us, but something stinks about that one. You would think that if his donors were motivated by saving the earth they would like to advertise their virtue. Instead, I suspect they wish to conceal their venality. So it isn’t just corrupt scientists eager for the generous research bucks and unending grants. It’s also thieves, attempting to steal our money and our living by appealing to energy use guilt, the precious conceit of a Western elite.

    On topic: It seems obvious that the summer after the smallest minimum Arctic Sea Ice extent would have the thinnest ice and least ice volume. Last year at this time, betting that the winds of 2007 would not be replicated and betting that Arctic Sea Ice Extent does somewhat serve as a proxy of global cooling, I predicted that there would be less melt in the summer of 2008 than the year before. What I find interesting is that the Arctic continued to melt until 2007, while ocean and atmospheric temperatures peaked around 2005. But then, the lag can be explained by the fact that there is net energy intake in the tropics and export at the poles. It apparently takes a couple of years for the earth to pump that heat north and south and back out.
    ==============================================

  16. My question for you is then why is the south pole ice sheets expanded yet the authors keep saying the opposite even from their own data?

    There is no reason why Antarctic icesheets cannot gain ice mass while at the same time experience retreat at their terminus, such as the break up of the Wilkins icesheet.

    Gaining ice mass reflects a cooler current/recent climate, while melting at the terminus is more reflective of overall climate over a longer period and ocean currents. In the case of the Antarctic Peninsula icesheets, probably since the Holocene optimum, 8,000 or so years ago.

    Of interest, is this paper from the wildly pro-AGW British Antarctica Survey, which concludes the largest Antarctic Peninsula icesheet didn’t exist at the Holocene Optimum (called LGM in the paper) and therefore the entire icesheet has grown in the last 8,000 years.

    Also note the weasily wording in the last paragraph to hide this embarassing (for the AGW mob) fact.

    http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/des/antarctica_4.html

    BTW, there are quite a number of papers which show more or less the same thing for the Antarctic Peninsula icesheets.

  17. kim:

    Every time I hear about MASSIVE fundraising efforts “through the Internet”, I know someone’s cheating. There is no way to track that money, and I suspect much of the, er, current “leader”‘s funding came from outside interests as well. Who benefits from having the least desirable individuals in charge of the US? Who benefits from decimating the US economy? Who benefits from pushing the AGW fiction and enforcing “cap and trade” or whatever ridiculous schemes they come up with?

    It’s always been about following the money, but making the flow invisible covers up a lot of tracks. Nobody needs to fight a war anymore… just destroy your enemy’s economy, then walk in and buy them.

  18. Would not all that water disappearing from underneath all that heavy ice be just as likely a cause of the cracking ice bridge as anything else?

    No. The ice floats on the water and any stresses from lower average sea level would be miniscule.

    Ice sheets break up near their terminus irrespective of whether the climate is warming or cooling.

    There is a data gap between recent observations which only go back a few decades at most, and the geological proxies which have a resolution of a couple of centuries at best.

    So don’t really know if the current ice sheet break up is any way unusual for the period since the LIA. Although as I pointed out above we do know these icesheets have grown dramatically over the last few thousand years, and in all likelyhood we are seeing a short term, small scale retreat within a longer and much larger ice advance.

  19. CodeTech (19:05:41) :

    It’s always been about following the money, but making the flow invisible covers up a lot of tracks. Nobody needs to fight a war anymore… just destroy your enemy’s economy, then walk in and buy them.

    (Sorry for the OT)

    CodeTech – The establishment of the international banking system that allows for the rapid movement of capital has enabled the mechanics of economic warfare.

    The practice of economic warfare is however a tricky affair. One must be careful not to cut off ones nose to spite ones face.

    For example, China currently holds a lot of US Government Bonds and is more or less funding the current bailouts. Should it stop buying or seek to redeem the bonds, the US runs out of Credit and the US Economy crashes, or the US Govt starts printing money big time and the economy still crashes – but a little bit later. However the US constitutes 30% of the Chinese export market and to lose 30% of it’s export market could well kill Chinese growth and unleash internal social unrest that would threaten the Communist party hegemony.

    It’s all a bit like the MAD doctrine from the cold war.

  20. CodeTech (19:05:41) :

    It’s always been about following the money, but making the flow invisible covers up a lot of tracks. Nobody needs to fight a war anymore… just destroy your enemy’s economy, then walk in and buy them.

    (Sorry for the OT)

    While not believing in conspiracy theories, there are certainly orgasnised elements working within the AGW movement. A possible economic motivation is “Who owns the means to produce energy in the developed world – and will destroying the current means and producing a new means shift the ownership?”

    I.e. Are the interested parties who are attempting to shift the ownership of energy production away from the current owners to themselves, thus effecting a major transfer of power and wealth?

    I don’t know – but I suspect that this might be a core motivation for some AGW Backers.

  21. Steven,

    This is an interesting approach and presentation. So let us hope that no radical event happens to negate this.

    The concept is a bit like population pyramids for a society or nation when something happens such as famine, war, or disease that takes a high number of a certain cohort away, or the reverse, when some subset undergoes an unusually large increase — illegal immigrations and young males come to mind. Then tracking the cohort that has decreased or increased, over time, allows planning for the changes. As the baby boomers aged new schools where needed. Now their looming retirements have to be planned for, and so on.

    So, these ideas work for the ice – the other day someone was calling first year ice “baby ice” and so on. The main difference is that with the ice it is a short and sometimes violent activity. Was it you that said there is probably no ice up there over 5 years old? This probably doesn’t get mentioned often enough. I wonder what the oldest ice is there today and what it might have been in the past. Did it flush out as regularly during the maximum of the ice ages or even the Little Ice Age. Was there, say, 15 or 25 year old ice?

    I’ll guess a lot of people have never thought about this regular freeze-age-flush system. Coupled with the time-lapse we viewed this week, this is a really interesting phenomenon.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    O/T but Fox News has a crazy ice story:
    Global sea levels could rise 10 feet in 50 years if the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps rapidly melt, a new study suggests.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,516456,00.html

  22. This is in fact one of the questions Walt Meier did not answer. Indeed it is clear that periodical melt occur and that arctic sea ice never really grows old. In 1980 ice 7 y or older represented only 20% or so of the total. Yet where is the ice that has seen Admundsen walk? Gone of course and without CO2 or Global Warming’s help. But that is not alarmist.
    Also Walt Meier did not answer the question about the correlation between arctic sea ice decline and the climatic shift initiated in the 1970s well demonstrated by the atmospheric circulation patterns and the switch to a rapid mode of circulation described by Marcel Leroux and documented by his students and others. The inflexion point is quite brutal and independent of any CO2 curve. The fact no journalist would 1) mention these studies 2) confront Meier or Serreze -who cannot avoid mentioning atmospheric circulation patterns in their reports- is baffling. This is another example of the media being so unfriendly to AGW… not.

  23. John F. Hultquist (19:47:53) :


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    O/T but Fox News has a crazy ice story:
    Global sea levels could rise 10 feet in 50 years if the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps rapidly melt, a new study suggests.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,516456,00.html

    Love the “If”.

    “If “ hostile, predatory aliens land next week, it is predicted that 50% of Humanity will be killed and eaten after one month…

    It’s the ultimate “cover my behind”, “get out of jail free” card.

    How about some real predictions like, “The 2009 summer Arctic Ice extent will be below the 2007 summer ice extent.” – nice and testable.

  24. The first year ice is not going to melt if the surface of the Arctic ocean doesn’t get above -2.0C. If it gets to -0.5C, then only the multi-year ice will survive.

    Normally it gets to about -1.5C by early September and then starts declining afterward so we will have to see.

  25. Phillip_B,

    “No. The ice floats on the water and any stresses from lower average sea level would be miniscule.”

    At the shore, the ice is grounded. As in, the glacier flows into the ocean. That is why it is called an Ice Shelf and NOT Sea Ice .Changing sea level WILL stress the ice where the glacier pushes into deep enough water to start floating. The ice shelf is somewhat wedge shaped toward land as the sea water melts the underside of the glacier. The further out it is pushed, the more is melted. At the same time, there will be an accumulation of snow on top that increases the thickness above the sea and adds to the stress.

    The area of the Wilkins Ice Shelf experiences 10 foot waves regularly. Not hard to see that there would be larger and smaller waves, not to mention the high variability of of the background sea level!!

  26. “Would not all that water disappearing from underneath all that heavy ice be just as likely a cause of the cracking ice bridge as anything else?”

    At approx 3mm/year sea level change, any such change would be within the plastic flow of the ice – after all, it had to flow to push out onto the sea – but as mentioned above, the two tides a day plus wave action will stress the ice past its breaking point. Key point here, glossed over by the MSM, is that the ice just keeps flowing from the land onto the sea, breaking off and being replaced – ALL THE TIME. Talking to some friends, I found that I could not, repeat not, get that point across and it’s implications compared to them listening to a sound byte from the TV. That sinks in, but not reasoned argument.

  27. Graeme:

    (Also sorry about the OT)

    While I’m also not a conspiracy theorist, I’m also totally aware that huge multimillion dollar funding raised by “Internet” is going to be totally bogus. And I’m not actually advancing some far out AGW conspiracy because I think following the origin of that self-propagating delusion will be clear in hindsight. I expect many, many well-meaning people will be shaking their heads over the next 5-20 years and wondering what the heck they were thinking.

    Isn’t it amazing that most people who attempt to raise huge $$$ via “Internet” fail miserably even with a pristine cause, but certain well-placed groups can “magically” pull it off with little or no fanfare. It is unfortunate that that does sound like a “conspiracy”, but I’m extremely familiar with computers and the Internet. It just plain doesn’t happen the way we’re being told.

    And organized elements in the AGW movement? Definitely. Anyone with huge money can easily make even more. Just find a “cause” that the rubes will embrace, and the best part is they will defend even the most outrageous and ridiculous claims for you. All you have to do is get things started. I have been amazed as I’ve watched this one unfold. People who should know better are completely and totally convinced. (and I’m done with this one now)

  28. KimW (20:52:43) :

    Try polar bear population theory. I’ve found that “complex concepts”, such as sea ice extent, logarithmic CO2 forcing, etc. are way beyond the average pretend plant-saver.

    Ask your friend(s) if polar bear populations are increasing or decreasing. After the inevitable answer … send them any random link that has the facts.

    It has definitely been a wake-up call for many people with whom I’ve had earlier useless discussions.

  29. I still wonder why nobody has given a coherent link of the tidal effect on ice at the poles.

    Somebody said there are 16m tides in the arctic. When we had a 6.3 richter earthquake in my region, a part of the mountain fell 6 meters. A 16 meter tide pushing up and down should be making icecubes of the arctic :).

    What are the tides in the antarctic,particularly when the moon has a far north inclination? 40cm is the number for bulk on earth, but what about in the region? How is the land approach at the bottom?

    Please, if anybody has a link, post it.

  30. “It seems to me that either rising or falling local sea level (caused perhaps by local winds) would tend to cause cracks between the grounded ice and the floating ice, as one chunk was lifted or lowered relative to the other.”

    I would tend to think that lower sea levels would be more helpful in the breakage of ice. If sea-levels rose, the ice would have more support, and there would be a ridge at the point of break from the ice being smashed together. If sea levels fall, gravity takes over and the ice snaps off from it’s own weight.

  31. There is one thing that we can be certain about next year – and that is that, all of a sudden, there will be a focus on the worrying lack of ice older than three years.

    Anybody remember seeing third year ice mentioned last year?

  32. The latest AMSR-E plot shows this year breaking out from the previous years.

    This breakout should continue as the difference between this year’s sea ice and the 1979-200 average is entirely due to the Sea of Okhotsk.

    This difference will disappear over the spring, as the Okhotsk ice always vanishes. Since this ice is separate and won’t contribute to the summer extent, the 2009 extent could converge on the 1979-2000 average.

    If that happens, this could be the year that the whole AGW hoax collapses. Gore and his minions have been unambiguous about arctic sea ice vanishing completely in the near future. A full, 100% recovery would stick it to them good.

    The next step is lawsuits over their profiteering. Anyone who actually bought carbon credits will have standing to sue. Their over the top rhetoric and suppression of dissenting views will hurt them in court.

    Will this be fun or watt? Where can I buy carbon credits from Al Gore now so that I’ll be able to join the class action suit later?

  33. The ice in the photo should be 25 to 30 meters above the waterline, if the shelf is 200 meters thick. Since the water in the opened channels is freezing over heavily, melting can’t be the cause.

  34. I meant to add that the ridge in the gravity scenario would be on the bottom side of the fracture because that is where the ice is smashed together.

  35. Thank you for this blog post (Steven), and thanks for all of the informative comments by the readers here. Sometimes, those of us who work in other fields just need it spelled out for us in terms that are easy to understand (call me a student of “Climate for Dummies,” I won’t be insulted :) ).

    My own personal experience has been that the most-used arguments by those who believe in AGW but don’t follow the subject daily as I do revolve around polar bears and melting ice at the poles.

    This gives me a lot of new material to work with next time the subject comes up, and I’m all about instilling doubt in AGW one person at a time. It’s effective when you have a lot of participants, especially since this nonsense has spread like a virus at local bars and restaurants across the country.

  36. CodeTech (21:30:22) :

    Graeme:

    (Also sorry about the OT)

    … (and I’m done with this one now)

    CodeTech – Agreed. Also done. Back to the main thread.

  37. Isn’t this all a bit silly?

    Steve is probably right for all the right reasons. And isn’t the top 5 meters or so of arctic ocean water constructively “fresh” water? Or at least considerably less salty than your typical ocean water?

    Some years in the summer the wind flushes a lot of ice out, and some years it stacks it up like cordwood. In the ’70’s the barge traffic from Seattle to Prudhoe Bay was constructively shut down by ice. A few barges with very large (1,200 tons and up) modules pushed through, but my recollection is that all of them were damaged. They did get them unloaded, but they overwintered in the north.. The balance of the cargo went to Seward and was fed north over the winter. Believe that was 1975, but others may have a better date.

    In 2008 the common refrain in Alaska in June and July was “quite a mild winter we are having.” This year looks to follow the same pattern, but it seems to have been colder so far.

    The Pacific is colder and the sun is quiescent. Anyone have a source of warming?

  38. John F. Hultquist (19:47:53) :

    O/T but Fox News has a crazy ice story:
    Global sea levels could rise 10 feet in 50 years if the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps rapidly melt, a new study suggests.

    What’s sad is that they are so often accused of being in the tank for the oil industry, conservatives, republicans, and the great big AGW denialist machine. Accused by those that never actually bother to read their news, but accused nonetheless.

    Journalism just plain sucks these days.

    Mark

  39. Ted Scambos at NSIDC presented a theory that these ice shelf breakups were due to surface meltwater seeping down in the cracks in the ice. That is clearly not the case here, as there is no evidence of melt on the surface.

    This breakup was mechanical in nature.

  40. anna,

    The Catlin site had a good discussion of the strong effects of the tides on the ice during the recent full moon.

  41. Frederick Michael (21:52:14) :

    The latest AMSR-E plot shows this year breaking out from the previous years.

    This breakout should continue as the difference between this year’s sea ice and the 1979-200 average is entirely due to the Sea of Okhotsk.

    This difference will disappear over the spring, as the Okhotsk ice always vanishes. Since this ice is separate and won’t contribute to the summer extent, the 2009 extent could converge on the 1979-2000 average.

    If that happens, this could be the year that the whole AGW hoax collapses. Gore and his minions have been unambiguous about arctic sea ice vanishing completely in the near future. A full, 100% recovery would stick it to them good.

    The next step is lawsuits over their profiteering. Anyone who actually bought carbon credits will have standing to sue. Their over the top rhetoric and suppression of dissenting views will hurt them in court.

    Will this be fun or watt? Where can I buy carbon credits from Al Gore now so that I’ll be able to join the class action suit later?

    Based on the timing of Hansen’s and Gore’s dire predictions, I’ve come to the conclusion the AGW environmental-investment complex took a calculated risk this year. They were hoping for a big push by the current administration on some sort of cap and trade program, along with restrictive EPA regulations. To succeed, one of the key elements in all this was some cooperation from the climate. As you pointed out, nature is not cooperating.

    We will have two years to watch climate trends unfold before any attempt can be made to initiate cap and trade legislation. This year is finished, as even the NYT has observed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/us/politics/11climate.html?scp=5&sq=climate%20change%20legislation&st=cse

    Next year is an election year. Nothing will happen then.

    Gore’s prediction for a missing northern ice cap in the next five years will be hard to explain away, even for true believers. Hansen’s ‘tipping point of no return’ within this term of Obama should be fairly easy to weasel out of. He could even claim it has already occurred.

    Of course, as you pointed out, if lawsuits are filed for the return of money invested in carbon credits based on fraudulent science, people will be facing subpoenas to appear in court. It will be difficult for Gore, Hansen and others to avoid debates at that point.

    I agree with your premise, but the timing is a little short. I would give it within five years, sort of painting myself into the same sort of corner Gore and Hansen are already in. But then again, I don’t have the sort of skin in the game they have.

    Things could move a little move faster, as you feel they will. There are more desperate lawyers than in the past.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/business/12law.html?scp=1&sq=layoffs%20lawyer&st=cse

    Perhaps they’ll take a look at the AGW industry?

    In all events, these things will provide a lot of amusement.

  42. A bit OT – from today’s online news: “Scientists from Arizona University tested pine trees growth in a giant greenhouses, exposed to normal and 4°C higher temperatures, which are predicted to happen in 2100. In dry conditions, the pine tree kept in higher temperature died sooner. It means, in future even shorter dry period would kill trees.”
    These guys are desperate. Btw, there is one famous “we-have-to-get-of-this-medieval-warm-period” professor working at Arizona University.

  43. Jack Green;-)/Philip B;-)/Kuhnkat;-)

    Jack, Kuhnkat has put it rather well in layman’s terms. The ice sheet once floating becomes a huge cantilever with large stresses at the support, i.e. where it comes off the substratum. These have to somehow be distributed sufficiently through the remaining ice of finite section or thickness, & ice isn’t homogenous. Think of when you’re doing DIY & you’re trying to measure that gap between Point A & Point B, & your tape measure keeps dipping when its self-weight becomes too much for the basic section to carry it. (That’s partially why they are dished in section). Same thing happens to ice essentially, with variations on a theme! This actually suggests that the ice is moving almost continuosly as it grows!

    Philip, sorry to be a pedant, but it is the British ‘Antarctic’ Survey! I know you probably meant that & it was just a typo. Otherwise you’re bang on target with your statement. Fear & panic are the best ways to keep the gravey train moving. Science is a curious subject when it comes to climate, as an engineer, if I were to run around looking at peoples houses pointing out all the cracks in the façades, & striking terror into the owners hearts then getting them to pay me to report on how bad it all is, when in fact most of the cracking is insignificant, I would be struck off in no time at all. Fear = control = money, simple really!

  44. “No wonder people are pushing so hard for “climate legislation” in 2009″.

    Good post. IMO it all hinges on the climate conference in Copenhagen later this year. No binding agreement in Copenhagen means no Kyoto 2. No Kyoto 2 means that either the promoters of Catastrophic AGW will have to accept that the planet is irrevocably doomed (according to their world view) and that nothing more can be done to stop it happening (and it will be interesting to see whether they arrange their lives accordingly) or they will have to admit, slowly, grudgingly, that they were wrong and that CAGW is not happening, never was happening and is not going to happen.

    Most of what will occur in the media this year, everything from Earth Hour 2009 to the Catlin Expedition, all the stunts and protests, all the calls to action, the prophecies and doomsaying, the tantrums, grandstanding and acting up, will reach a climax just under eight months from now.

    Copenhagen, December 2009. Catastrophic AGW’s last stand.

  45. Ron de Haan:
    “(…) On a political level it will be a hot summer but not at the Arctic.
Besides that it will be September before we know it.”

    “Kim (…). They are certainly damaging the edifice of science, and they are certainly damaging all of us personally, but the poorest of this earth the most. When are the suits for damages to commence, and how can the most egregious be assessed criminal penalties? This is a wrong which must be righted.”

    What has always worried me most about all this debate is it’s extreme political polarisation (no pun intended). which means that if you personally reject the diabolising of CO2 and AGW, you immediately find yourself treated as a denying red-necked neo-con (and I don’t get the impression that such is the position of many people on this blog). This has been another very effective way of stifling debate and the worst is that when the AGW movement is finally discredited, most of those supporting the social actions that Obama wants to see in place will go down with it and the red-necks will have finally won. We will have a Monica Lewinsky – type red herring over again with all positive political action paralysed — but not such a laugh and with worse consequences.

  46. AEGeneral:
    “the most-used arguments by those who believe in AGW … revolve around polar bears and melting ice at the poles.”

    This is the smoke and mirrors effect to distract attention from the relevant topic. And so often, the rationalists get seduced into these arguments too. I think this is the purpose of the Catlin fiasco, for example – to divert the focus to irrelevancies.

    What’s happening to the polar bears and the polar ice is very interesting, of course. But it’s got nothing to do with the AGW claptrap. If all the ice melts and all the polar bears drown or die of sunstroke, it would make a difference to the politics of public opinion. But in itself, it would say nothing at all about ‘why’, and in particular whether atmospheric CO2 caused it.

  47. I’m sorry, I’ve tried to hold back, but it’s the pedant in me. It’s spelled minUscule! Aaaah, that’s better………

  48. Anna V

    What are the tides in the antarctic,particularly when the moon has a far north inclination? 40cm is the number for bulk on earth, but what about in the region? How is the land approach at the bottom?

    The Antarctic tides are peculiar, in that there are rarely more than one high tide and one low tide per day. This is due to the tidal ocean bulge due to the moon (the strongest tide) following the moon’s gravitational attraction around the southern ocean without any interruption due to continental landmasses. Thus at new and full moons, the Antarctic tides are strongest on the day of the syzygy, and for a day or two later.

    As the following (tide prediction) data for December 2008 -January 2009 shows, the lunar tides were at their maximum, near either apogee or perigee, with a range of about 1.3 metres (which is of the same order as the tidal range for open ocean, rather than the exaggerated coastal tides we experience here in the UK). This is of course timed close to the southern summer solstice and also near to the perihelion, with the most pronounced solar tides, seen only in the data around first and last quarter, as minute (as little as 10cm) variations between the high and low tides, but here, twice a day.

    Ross Island, Antarctica
    Units are meters

    Thursday Thu 2008-12-11
    Low Tide: 0:06 UTC 0.0
    High Tide: 12:04 UTC 1.2

    Friday Fri 2008-12-12 Full Moon, Perigee
    Low Tide: 0:51 UTC -0.1
    High Tide: 12:57 UTC 1.2

    Saturday Sat 2008-12-13
    Low Tide: 1:42 UTC -0.1
    High Tide: 13:53 UTC 1.2

    Sunday Sun 2008-12-14
    Low Tide: 2:33 UTC -0.1
    High Tide: 14:52 UTC 1.2

    Monday Mon 2008-12-15
    Low Tide: 3:21 UTC -0.1
    High Tide: 15:49 UTC 1.1

    Tuesday Tue 2008-12-16
    Low Tide: 4:00 UTC -0.0
    High Tide: 16:43 UTC 1.0

    Wednesday Wed 2008-12-17
    Low Tide: 4:22 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 17:29 UTC 0.9

    Thursday Thu 2008-12-18
    Low Tide: 4:07 UTC 0.3
    High Tide: 18:02 UTC 0.7

    Friday Fri 2008-12-19 Last Quarter Moon
    Low Tide: 3:04 UTC 0.4
    High Tide: 18:04 UTC 0.6

    Saturday Sat 2008-12-20
    Low Tide: 1:48 UTC 0.4
    High Tide: 9:41 UTC 0.7

    Sunday Sun 2008-12-21 Solstice
    Low Tide: 0:46 UTC 0.3
    High Tide: 9:45 UTC 0.8

    Monday Mon 2008-12-22
    Low Tide: 0:11 UTC 0.3
    High Tide: 10:08 UTC 0.9

    Tuesday Tue 2008-12-23
    Low Tide: 0:07 UTC 0.2
    High Tide: 10:38 UTC 1.0

    Wednesday Wed 2008-12-24
    Low Tide: 0:25 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 11:11 UTC 1.0

    Thursday Thu 2008-12-25
    Low Tide: 0:57 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 11:47 UTC 1.0

    Friday Fri 2008-12-26 Apogee
    Low Tide: 1:34 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 12:27 UTC 1.0

    Saturday Sat 2008-12-27 New Moon
    Low Tide: 2:13 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 13:09 UTC 1.0

    Sunday Sun 2008-12-28
    Low Tide: 2:50 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 13:51 UTC 1.0

    Monday Mon 2008-12-29
    Low Tide: 3:23 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 14:33 UTC 1.0

    Tuesday Tue 2008-12-30
    Low Tide: 3:49 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 15:14 UTC 1.0

    Wednesday Wed 2008-12-31
    Low Tide: 4:05 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 15:54 UTC 0.9

    Thursday Thu 2009-01-01
    Low Tide: 4:02 UTC 0.2
    High Tide: 16:38 UTC 0.8

    Friday Fri 2009-01-02
    Low Tide: 3:05 UTC 0.3
    High Tide: 17:22 UTC 0.7

    Saturday Sat 2009-01-03
    Low Tide: 1:58 UTC 0.4
    High Tide: 9:23 UTC 0.5
    Low Tide: 13:40 UTC 0.5
    High Tide: 18:07 UTC 0.5

    Sunday Sun 2009-01-04 First Quarter Moon, Perihelion
    Low Tide: 1:04 UTC 0.4
    High Tide: 8:46 UTC 0.7
    Low Tide: 18:11 UTC 0.4
    High Tide: 18:30 UTC 0.4

    Monday Mon 2009-01-05
    Low Tide: 0:08 UTC 0.4
    High Tide: 9:05 UTC 0.8
    Low Tide: 22:39 UTC 0.3

    Tuesday Tue 2009-01-06
    High Tide: 9:38 UTC 1.0
    Low Tide: 22:02 UTC 0.2

    Wednesday Wed 2009-01-07
    High Tide: 10:20 UTC 1.1
    Low Tide: 23:03 UTC 0.1

    Thursday Thu 2009-01-08
    High Tide: 11:06 UTC 1.2

    Friday Fri 2009-01-09
    Low Tide: 0:09 UTC -0.0
    High Tide: 11:56 UTC 1.2

    Saturday Sat 2009-01-10 Perigee
    Low Tide: 1:10 UTC -0.1
    High Tide: 12:47 UTC 1.2

    Sunday Sun 2009-01-11 Full Moon
    Low Tide: 2:06 UTC -0.1
    High Tide: 13:39 UTC 1.2

    Monday Mon 2009-01-12
    Low Tide: 2:55 UTC -0.0
    High Tide: 14:29 UTC 1.1

    Tuesday Tue 2009-01-13
    Low Tide: 3:35 UTC 0.1
    High Tide: 15:16 UTC 0.9

    Wednesday Wed 2009-01-14
    Low Tide: 3:59 UTC 0.2
    High Tide: 15:56 UTC 0.8

    Data are taken from WXTide32 version 4.7, by Michael Hopper, a free download from http://wxtide32.com

    It is probably due to the small tidal range, and infrequency of large tidal variations that allows Antarctic sea ice to form at all. If Antarctica had the sort of tides that are experienced on some north Atlantic coasts near the Arctic circle, like them, Antarctica would be ice free all year round, solely due to tidal motion mixing warmer with colder water.

  49. In the last sentence, replace “…Antarctica would be ice free…” with “…the Antarctic coast would be ice free” thanx

  50. Cold Play,

    Can you confirm whether the Wilikins ice shelf has colapsed into the sea?

    The picture at the top of the article is of a portion of the Wilkins Ice Shelf. It has cracked at that locations and the ocean between the cracks is refreezing. Ice floats, so the concept of an “ice shelf collapse” doesn’t really make a lot of sense, does it?

  51. Jari, thanks for posting the simulation of the Ross Ice Shelf with tides movie. It’s amazing what we learn by watching it.

    I wonder if there is a “atmosphere tide” and how that would affect the climate? Just a stupid thought but might be a factor to add into the many others.

  52. Look at the history.

    In the 1930’s early 1940’s they motored all over the NW passage with relative ease.
    Then in the later 1940’s it froze up. The cycle will repeat.

    Really, what they call science is an embarassment.

  53. I am predicting an increase in Arctic ice this year.

    Based on:
    La Nina
    Cooling PDO
    Lack of Sunspots
    etc.

  54. Since we are discussing ice once again, I wanted to comment on a statement in the BBC article about the Catlin ice measurements
    as posted on 14 April here in WUWT –
    Catlin Arctic Survey gives up on ice radar – “much less likely to reach pole”

    The statement in the BBC article was:
    “Figures indicate an average ice thickness of 1.15-3.75m, much of which might be expected to melt between June and September.”

    The implication being that those values were ‘thin’ ice.

    However, those values are almost exactly what might have been predicted using the submarine ice data values from 37 US Navy and 2 Royal Navy submarine cruises covering over 120,000 kilometers of cruise track from a 26-year period from 1975 to 2000. Data is from the archive at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). See article and especially Figure 3

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/pscweb2002/pubs/Wensnahan%20etal.(2007)EOS-SubData.pdf

    The mid point of the Catlin data (1.15-3.75m) is 2.45m, almost exactly the median of the submarine Spring ice values in Figure 3. That range of values equals the heart of the submarine data distribution. Before the Catlin expedition set out, one might have predicted they would find typical ice thickness of 1 to 4m if the ice was similar to that seen in the many submarine cruises. One note, the submarine data is ‘draft’ ice thickness, draft meaning that portion below the water line.

    So to my eye, the ice measurements from Catlin appear to be pretty normal, and in fact one might say that they are finding ice thickness similar to historical values going back to 1975.

  55. Jack Green:

    I wonder if there is a “atmosphere tide” and how that would affect the climate?

    In hurricane storm surge modeling, the atmospheric pressure deficit accounts for 1 or 2 feet of water surface levels in the strongest of hurricanes. Wind-driven momentum and mass meeting land accounts for most of the rest. For a Arctic low, certainly smaller as the ambient pressure is reduced there to begin with. This is a component, but really small potatoes compared to the tides.

    Also, in places like the Gulf of Mexico, ~1 foot can be attributed to the steric effect in the summer (expansion of warmer water).

    Something else to keep in mind is that we are measuring a sea level fall (not rise) in Alaska of ~20 mm per year. This is really because the land is in glacial rebound mode. So what if all of the land around the Arctic sea were rising? And what impact would that have on Arctic sea ice area? This is probably small potatoes, too, but interesting to consider.

  56. Someone posed the question earlier about the Catlin group and their route. I don’t have the software to do an overlay, but eyballing the route they have chosen and 2009 ice map above, it appears to me that they should expect to hit almost no second year ice at all, so should it be any surprise that they haven’t found any? They chose a route that takes them over the area that was “flushed of ice” in 2007.

  57. Interesting comment from the article
    “No wonder people are pushing so hard for “climate legislation” in 2009. ”

    You bet and here in Scotland who do you think is pushing hardest?

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland/Make-fuel-waste-an-offence.5166566.jp

    Legislation will mean criminalisation here in Scotland.

    “Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, believes tough measures are needed to force people to cut their use of fossil fuels and thinks governments should consider making it a crime for members of the public not to take measures such as installing cavity wall insulation.

    Dr Dixon said: “I think it should be a crime to be wasting energy. It’s clearly a moral crime against the climate, and I think we should be having a discussion about whether it should become an actual crime.

    He added that a fine could also be a good idea, but he was “not suggesting we should send people to jail for wasting fossil fuels”. However, prison is the ultimate penalty for the non-payment of fines.””

    Members of the public would have there homesup graded to, what I would assume, Dr. Dixon’s specifications and then we will be sent the bill. Clearly Dr. Dixon (Astrophysics) can afford all of these modifications; unfortunately this is not so for many fellow Scots where the ever rising price of food is far more important consideration.

    More green legislation is all we need just now.

  58. Steven Goddard (05:13:34) :
    Cold Play,

    Can you confirm whether the Wilikins ice shelf has colapsed into the sea?

    The picture at the top of the article is of a portion of the Wilkins Ice Shelf. It has cracked at that locations and the ocean between the cracks is refreezing. Ice floats, so the concept of an “ice shelf collapse” doesn’t really make a lot of sense, does it?

    Actually it has collapsed, there are so many cracks forming tall thin ice-bergs that are unstable that they topple over. Check out the following sat. pictures:

    2/April/09 longitudinal cracks start to form:

    5/April/09 ice ‘bridge’ has started to collapse and spread out:

    15/April/09 extensive breakup of the former bridge:

    Here’s a view of the area from 5 years ago.

    http://nsidc.org/data/iceshelves_images/wilkins.html

    This animation is very impressive:

    http://webservices.esa.int/wilkinsarctic/wilkins.php?type=full

  59. hmmm, looks like the sea ice extend line will pass over all the other curves soon… but wait!!! How come? They keep telling us that the ice is melting.

  60. alexjc38 (01:40:34)
    Copenhagen, December 2009. Catastrophic AGW’s last stand.
    While I’m inclined to agree, one thing’s for sure; no matter how little is actually agreed on, it will be spun as an “overall success”.
    It is also necessary for Cap and Trade in the U.S. Congress to go down in flames, which also seems likely.
    With any luck, by this time next year, the CAGW/CC ideology will have collapsed under the weight of its own exaggerations, faulty and misleading science, and outright lies.

  61. I’ve learned several fascinating things about sea ice.
    (1) Antarctic sea ice buildup is partly due to very low AND slow tides (only one a day!!)
    (2) over the year, the saline solution leaches out of sea ice, and 2nd year ice can be used as source of fresh water.
    (3) Salt water freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water. Around the freezing point of sea water, it starts to overcome the freshwater phenomenon that causes ice to float at all. A lot (??? most) of the near-freezing near-surface salt water SINKS and thus provides a huge driver for the Gulf Stream current. What I’d like to know is, what proportion sinks, what proportion forms ice???
    (4) the potential effect of point (3) is most interesting… do we have another self-regulating mechanism here??… (a) cold climate, Arctic ice, dynamic Gulf Stream (b) hot climate, no Arctic ice, Gulf Stream slower – but is not needed so much anyway!

  62. Juraj V. (00:33:41) : A bit OT – from today’s online news: “Scientists from Arizona University tested pine trees growth in a giant greenhouses, exposed to normal and 4°C higher temperatures, which are predicted to happen in 2100. In dry conditions, the pine tree kept in higher temperature died sooner. It means, in future even shorter dry period would kill trees.”
    These guys are desperate. Btw, there is one famous “we-have-to-get-of-this-medieval-warm-period” professor working at Arizona University.

    http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/dry/dry_subject_p.php

    Pines benefit hugely from CO2 which would (?) cancel the adverse effects of drought

  63. Shawn Whelan,

    It’s also interesting that the first east – west single handed passage was made by a Dutchman, W. De Roos, in a 42ft ketch in 1977. This was in the decade when there was much blather about the coming ice age!

    In 1983 a luxury cruise ship, which people paid up to $23,000 to travel on, made the 4790mile (7712km) journey from St John’s, Newfoundland, to Point Barrow, Alaska, in just 23 days.

  64. I ran a simulation once, not a climate one, but in a war game.

    It was for the Battle of Hastings. The units were pretty much as at the battle, except for a Panzer Division I placed at the top of Senlac Hill on the side of the English.

    After running the simulation, I concluded that history would have changed irrecovably if you made the small assumption that King Harold had had a Panzer Division at his disposal.

    Do Climate Modellers ever put small assumptions, that they deem likely to be true (or want to be true) into their models?

  65. Steven Goddard,

    ” Ice floats, so the concept of an “ice shelf collapse” doesn’t really make a lot of sense, does it?”

    We do not have the data to decide, but, the ocean melts the bottom of the shelf while snow accumulates on the top. Along with variations in the sea level, this COULD HAVE led to a situation where it is actually a collapse.

    Alternatively, it could have been the opposite where sea level was higher and the 10 ft wave action excaberated the situation. In that case collapse would not be appropriate.

    Do you know of any on-site observations that would give us a hint as to the actual mechanical stress (bottom of ice/top of ice/varying) beginnings??

    Just in case there is still a question, an ice shelf is ice “growing” from the shore due to glacial movement as opposed to floating sea ice that is purely seasonal. Sea Ice will grow around an ice shelf apparently extending it.

  66. Jack Simmons (00:20:45) : (and others)

    I agree that the timing of all this could be stretched out. Still, the AGW gang is up against a dreadful deadline. If they can get some draconian CO2 limiting measures passed FAST, then they can claim CREDIT for the what happens next. As you note, that doesn’t look like it will happen in the nick of time.

    Also, it looks like China isn’t going to play ball anyway — so they’re stuck. Spin is the only thing they’ll have left. “The increase in arctic sea ice is a manifestation of global warming!” It will be fun to watch — if you’ve got the stomach for it. It will be pathetic and pitiful.

  67. Both of you cannot be correct either the shelf has collapsed or it has not?

    Phil thank you for the satellite images.

    These show that the shelf has cracked in numerous places however it does not show the shelf to have collapsed.

    The obvious interpretation of the word collapse when related to an ice shelf is that it breaks off and floats away or melts but of course it may well be that the shelf is badly cracked but still remains serviceable. The shelf appears to have remained insitu?

    I am not sure whether the animation shows the sea ice in front of the shelf?

    The satellite photograph provided was dated 13 Feb 2003 I am not sure of the significance in respect of the condition of the shelf as of the 15 April satellite image?

    The original\question I posed was because the press was hysterical regarding the imminent collapse of the shelf but seem to have gone quiet.

  68. kim (17:31:49) :

    It’s both amusing and grim the extent to which the alarmists are now reaching for their rhetoric. It is becoming increasingly clear, though, what the answer is to a question I’ve been tormenting myself with for years. No longer is the alarmist campaign the honest result of genuine belief; it is turning out to be an increasingly corrupt endeavour. [snip - leave the brimstone out please] They are certainly damaging the edifice of science, and they are certainly damaging all of us personally, but the poorest of this earth the most. When are the suits for damages to commence, and how can the most egregious be assessed criminal penalties? This is a wrong which must be righted.”
    ========================================

    Kim,

    Download the PDF containing a letter from Mockton he send to the Senate House
    Committee after his testimony, copy to President Obama:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/reprint/markey_barton_letter.html

    P.s This is a “must read” and I think Anthony should publish it.
    In his letter Moncton makes 50 acquisitions of climate fraud and the document is on the right desks as far as I know.

    Politicians tend to act on cases if their content is known to the public domain (fear of loss of votes). Publication in any case will support the case.

  69. Bruce Cobb (07:32:25) :

    With any luck, by this time next year, the CAGW/CC ideology will have collapsed under the weight of its own exaggerations, faulty and misleading science, and outright lies.

    Hope you are right but for sure THEY will strengthen up next summer. They will surely invent the legal figure of “apology of denial” for those, like WUWT, who dare to oppose the healthy measures to clean our “Mother Gaia’ s atmosphere”

  70. “If they can get some draconian CO2 limiting measures passed FAST, then they can claim CREDIT for the what happens next.”

    The only way they could claim credit is if atmospheric CO2 concentrations started to fall

  71. Cold Play (09:30:10) :

    Both of you cannot be correct either the shelf has collapsed or it has not?

    I believe “collapsed” is alarmese for failed, or no longer viable. It’s all very ominous-sounding, of course, implying imminent doom, much better than saying it broke, or the ice calved.

  72. All this science, and no engineering. Once one of these ice “tongues” protrudes beyond land, it becomes nothing more or less that what in civil engineering is called a cantilevered beam. Tidal and wind action are forces which create bending moments along the cantilevered beam. As these forces are always present, but varying, when the bending moment at any point along the beam becomes greater than the structural strength of the beam, the beam will fail from a structural standpoint. As Ice can weld itself back together, the beam can be somewhat self-healing. But when the bending moment gets large enough, the cantilevered beam fails competely, and the beam breaks. I.e., the protruding ice “tongue” becomes completely separated, and then is a large floating mass of ice, and will go where ever the wind and other forces acting upon it move it. If this cantilevered beam continues to lengthen, at some point in time, the bending moments caused by tidal and wind forces will cause it to fail, whatever minor temperature changes there are.

  73. “”” KimW (20:52:43) :

    “Would not all that water disappearing from underneath all that heavy ice be just as likely a cause of the cracking ice bridge as anything else?”

    At approx 3mm/year sea level change, any such change would be within the plastic flow of the ice – after all, it had to flow to push out onto the sea – but as mentioned above, the two tides a day plus wave action will stress the ice past its breaking point. Key point here, glossed over by the MSM, is that the ice just keeps flowing from the land onto the sea, breaking off and being replaced – ALL THE TIME. Talking to some friends, I found that I could not, repeat not, get that point across and it’s implications compared to them listening to a sound byte from the TV. That sinks in, but not reasoned argument. “””

    Well actually Kim, it doesn’t have to flow to “push out” over the sea.

    Just as in the Arctic, the Antarctic ocean water can actually freeze itself, and form a sheet. Precipitation can then deposit on that, to build it up. There doesn’t have to be any ice sheet or glacier feeding those ice sheets; although some could be of that type.

    Have any of you folks ever been sailing on a sailboat in the southern ocean? Do you have any idea just how rough and unpleasant that place is ? Do you understand the concept of daily tides ? Are you aware that the Antarctic Peninsula on which both the Wilkins and the Larsen B ice sheets stand, sticks out into that southern ocean and towards Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia at the southern tip of South America ? Do you understand that the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the southern ocean slosh back and forth through that narrow gap twice a day in tidal bores? Do you have any concept of how high the tidal waves can get ; and that those tidal bulges drive STRAIGHT IN on both Larsen B from the East, and Wilkins from the West ? Why would you expect them to not break up ? Do you understand that ice is like concrete, and has almost no tensile strength, and hence almost no flexural strength ? Have you ever gone swimming or surfing in big waves and felt the power of those water bulges ?

    Arguing that these ice shelves are holding back the land Glaciers from simply sliding in one swell foop into the ocean, is like saying that the ships tied up at the docks in San Francisco, are stopping the buildings on Russian Hill from all sliding into SF Bay; I don’t think so !

    Great Story Steve; and some nice data for us.

    George

  74. The ice flows like a plastic.
    As it builds in the center it flows outward.

    I remember in my wayward youth drinking with my buddies in Lake Louise, Alberta.
    Everytime the glacier dropped a chunk of ice we would drink and we would get plenty drunk. The glacier is still there and I am sure so are the drunken youngsters.

  75. Chris Knight

    Syzygy, eh? Last time I saw that word it was the last light in my local paper’s crossword. I didn’t finish!

  76. When I here the term shelf, I think of the ice as a cantilevered beam with little structural support underneath, attempting to support it’s own weight. Increasing the thickness of the beam by snow on top or ice growth at the bottom will also increase the weight being supported. And the increase in weight will eventually overcome the improved strength because the length is so much greater than the thickness.

    Low cycle fatigue would enhance any crack propagation because of the cycling forces due to the waves and tide. Thermal cycles from summer to winter temps, thermal stress from the difference in air and water temps would all have the shelf, popping and cracking, shifting and buckling. Trying to expand or shrink.

    I find it hard to believe that a couple degree change in average temperature, that remains well below the melting point of the ice, would be the primary driving force.

    It looks like a fascinating mechanical stress problem.

  77. anna v (21:51:31) asked:

    I still wonder why nobody has given a coherent link of the tidal effect on ice at the poles.

    Somebody said there are 16m tides in the arctic.

    Anna-

    I live close to the Bay of Fundy which, we always claimed, has the highest tides in the world. The bay is shaped like a wedge and becomes progressively shallower toward the end. The Atlantic tide sweeps in and the water is squeezed ever higher, up to 60 feet.
    We read not so long ago about a bay in the arctic where the tides are slightly higher. Maybe on Baffin Island, but don’t quote me. I believe that this a localized phenomenon, like our Bay of Fundy. I suspect that Arctic Ocean tides are otherwise unremarkable.

    Ian

  78. Jack Green (18:09:56) :

    I agree Jim. A lowering MSL around the ice would cause tension in the Ice sheet and cause more cracks to appear. Someone with more experience than I chime in here. Ice like concrete doesn’t behave well in tension but is very strong in compression as I remember from my Strength of Materials. Correct my thinking?

    Correct for concrete, that is why we have reinforced concrete. Typically, in our building rules, you are not allowed to assume that concrete takes any tension at all.

    If Ice behaves like concrete, an ice sheet on land and sea would break if the water was rising or falling due to bending and shear. But Ice is probably softer so I guess it takes a bit more to break it.

  79. Commenting on…

    LarryOldtimer (11:51:28) :

    All this science, and no engineering…

    [...]

    I’ve often wondered if the Firn Densification Model method of aging the air bubbles trapped in ice has ever been seriously looked at from an engineering perspective…Or if the pressure effects of burial on the partial pressure compositions of the air bubbles has ever been seriously looked at from an engineering perspective.

  80. Little Ice Age and North West Passage

    Little ice age is given in Wiki and many other sources as:
    Wiki
    For this reason, any of several dates ranging over 400 years may indicate the beginning of the Little Ice Age:
    1250 for when Atlantic pack ice began to grow
    1300 for when warm summers stopped being dependable in Northern Europe
    1315 for the rains and Great Famine of 1315-1317
    1550 for theorized beginning of worldwide glacial expansion
    1650 for the first climatic minimum
    [edit] End of Little Ice Age
    Beginning around 1850, the climate began warming and the Little Ice Age ended. Some global warming critics believe that Earth’s climate is still recovering from the Little Ice Age and that human activity is not the decisive factor in present temperature trends,[45][46] but this idea is not widely accepted. Instead, mainstream scientific opinion on climate change is that warming over the last 50 years is caused primarily by the increased proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere caused by human activity. There is less agreement over the warming from 1850 to 1950.

    OK so little ice age was approx 1300 to later than 1850

    Search for the North West passage
    Presumably the explorers of the time would have realised that it was getting colder and the Arctic ice pack was enarging? However why did they start their hunt in the peak of the little ice age? indead how did Roald Amundsen navigate the passage during the end of the LIA (as would be claimed by skeptics)?

    Sir Martin Frobisher, the English explorer, was the first European to explore (1576–78) the eastern approaches of the passage. John Davis also explored (1585–87) this area, and in 1610 Henry Hudson sailed north and visited Hudson Bay while seeking a short route to Asia. Soon afterward, William Baffin, an English explorer, visited (1616) Baffin Bay, through which the passage was finally found. English statesmen and merchants, anxious to have the passage found, encouraged exploration. Luke Fox and Thomas James made (1631–32) voyages into Hudson Bay.
    …Samuel Hearne, a British explorer with the company, went overland as far west as the Coppermine River (1771–72) and demonstrated that there was no short passage to the western sea. …Captain James Cook was inspired to make the first attempt at navigating the passage from the west. He died before he could accomplish anything. The British, Spanish, and Americans, however, pushed explorations on the Pacific coast, and the explorations of the Russians about Kamchatka and Alaska, together with the voyages of Alexander Mackenzie, the Canadian explorer, and the expedition of the Americans Lewis and Clark, revealed the contours of the continental barrier.
    …British explorers John Ross and David Buchan were sent out in 1818. Ross’s later voyages, and those of Sir William Edward Parry, F. W. Beechey, Sir George Back, Thomas Simpson, and Sir John Franklin pushed forward the knowledge of the Arctic and of the Northwest Passage. The last tragic expedition of Franklin indirectly had more effect than any other voyage because of the many expeditions sent out to discover his fate. In his expedition (1850–54), Robert J. Le M. McClure penetrated the passage from the west along the northern coast of the continent and by a land expedition reached Viscount Melville Sound, which had been reached (1819–20) by Parry from the east. The actual existence of the Northwest Passage had been proved, a…This feat, which had been attempted by so many men, was first accomplished (1903–6) by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

    Perhaps the LIA was limited to northern Europe and not Canada. Maybe this was caused by changes in the thermohaline current.

    I have previously posted here that there is a build-up of fresh water in the Arctic waing to (apparently) flow out via the fram stait

    Recent observations of Arctic Ocean outflow in the Fram Strait suggest that freshwater is piling up in the Arctic Ocean. A change in wind direction could release the largest amount of freshwater through Fram Strait ever recorded.

    The last big release of water into the north atlantic (lake agassiz) possibly caused the Younger Dryas stadial. Keep Cool!

  81. Syzygy, eh?

    I wouldn’t have known either, but I grew up near to a house with that name. The owners explained (rather coyly) that they called it that because it meant the alignment of two heavenly bodies, which seemed a bit pointless if you had to explain it. I preferred another neighbour’s house name: ‘Erewebe’, which I was at least able to work out for myself…

  82. Slightly OT sorry

    The Catlin Team are still trying to tell porkies about the Bio data. But their spokesman had to come clean when pressed by the Guardian Journalist…

    From The Guardian

    Bloggers including Watts Up With That also picked up on the fact that biotelemetry sensors designed to send the team’s individual heart rates and core temperatures to a “live from the ice” website appeared to be repeating the same data.

    A spokesman for the Catlin Arctic Survey admitted that there had been a problem with the way it was presented. “The initial idea was to get updates on a daily basis showing biometric data from the previous day, but there was a technological glitch with the system which meant we couldn’t use it from the beginning. The results shown on the website are demonstrational, and it states this quite clearly.”

    The data had previously been labelled on the website as “Operational” which Catlin Arctic Survey conceded had given the impression that they were live.However the spokesman conceded that data was initially displayed on the Catlin Arctic Survey website in a way that gave the impression that it was live. “The intended explanation that the data was delayed information was at first missing. We have subsequently corrected this.”

    REPLY: Gosh. – Anthony

  83. Anthony, the tide is turning in the UK when you get The Guardian using your blogs findings to question the integrity of ‘expeditions’ like this.

    The sheer negativity towards the Catlin Jaunt in the comments section is quite unbelievable.

    For all our sakes please keep up the great work.

  84. The ice clearly is not melting from the top or bottom. There is lots of interstitial ice between the cracks which indicates very cold ocean water. The fractures are clean – whatever is going on there has nothing to do with melt.

  85. I’ve often wondered if the Firn Densification Model method of aging the air bubbles trapped in ice has ever been seriously looked at from an engineering perspective…Or if the pressure effects of burial on the partial pressure compositions of the air bubbles has ever been seriously looked at from an engineering perspective.

    Yes there has, I found a study a while ago that talked about that. The effects of gas solubility in intercrystalline layers of supersaturated brine and acidic water that would not freeze even at very low temps. The fact the bubbles disappeared at depth and only reformed when the ice was decompressed as the core was drilled and allowed to rest at low pressure for a while.

    I will look around and see if I can find it. I sent a link to Anthony over on his site survey email link a while back but my email got wiped out when my ISP moved to a new client so I no longer have the sent message copy.

    Larry

  86. Steven Goddard (16:22:26) :

    I’ve noticed that on the IJIS website that there seems to be an adjustment during the day. If I look at it in the morning, there’s one number and a different in the evening. No suspicion here, just curiosity. Have you heard any rationale for the change?

  87. LarryOldtimer (11:51:28) :
    All this science, and no engineering. Once one of these ice “tongues” protrudes beyond land, it becomes nothing more or less that what in civil engineering is called a cantilevered beam. Tidal and wind action are forces which create bending moments along the cantilevered beam.

    OK in this case we have a long narrow bridge, ~200m thick, which cracks longitudinally and fractures into narrow blocks that topple into the ocean.
    What would cause it to break that way?

  88. Phil. (18:33:39) :

    “OK in this case we have a long narrow bridge, ~200m thick, which cracks longitudinally and fractures into narrow blocks that topple into the ocean.
    What would cause it to break that way?”

    I’d call it stress fractures. But since you asked, what would you call it?

  89. Graeme Rodaughan (18:28:29) :
    B Kerr (10:09:30) :

    Ron de Haan (09:37:00) :

    Just had a look, I’m off to my printer.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/markey_and_barton_letter.pdf

    Well what can you say?

    Brilliant!

    A great debunk of the manic curse of AGW Catastrophism.

    Pass it on too everyone you know.
    ———————–

    Great stuff, and what I like about it most, is that it is written in a way that a jury WILL understand.

    Who is going to be the first deep-pockets target of the many currently unemployed contingency attorneys ??

  90. Jack Simmons (00:20:45) :

    Frederick Michael (21:52:14) :

    Based on the timing of Hansen’s and Gore’s dire predictions, I’ve come to the conclusion the AGW environmental-investment complex took a calculated risk this year. They were hoping for a big push by the current administration on some sort of cap and trade program, along with restrictive EPA regulations. To succeed, one of the key elements in all this was some cooperation from the climate. As you pointed out, nature is not cooperating.

    In all events, these things will provide a lot of amusement.

    The AGW Proponents must really hate Nature right now….

    I can see them twisting the tips of their moustaches and going “Curses, Curses…”

  91. On the initial topic.

    All first year ice is not created equal, some 9 month ice, some 8 month ice, some 7…etc. The longer it’s present, the more time it has to thicken.

    The NH anomalies graphed on CT show that in late ’08 the ice recovered from the minimum much more rapidly than in ’07. To such an extent that there is about 1.7 Mil Km^2 more that would fall in the 9 month catagory. Further, there was no “dip” to the area anomoly in Dec or Jan due to short term weather.

    Thus, this year, the first year ice is likely older and thicker, on average, than the first year ice from the prior year. I think that indicates that the summer minimum will recover back toward ‘average’–somewhere between the ’05 and ’04 minimums.

  92. Arn Riewe (17:04:52) :
    Steven Goddard (16:22:26) :

    I’ve noticed that on the IJIS website that there seems to be an adjustment during the day. If I look at it in the morning, there’s one number and a different in the evening. No suspicion here, just curiosity. Have you heard any rationale for the change?

    Perhaps because they get two full sets of data every 24hrs.

  93. Ok, here is the JAXA for 4-17-2009. 2009 has just passed 2003 for largest extent for this date. The spread of values starts to compress about now so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

    year extent weekly change
    2003 13.63094 -0.39922
    2004 12.93062 -0.61563
    2005 13.12719 -0.21984
    2006 13.00281 -0.02219
    2007 12.97031 -0.24187
    2008 13.57734 -0.31781
    2009 13.64922 -0.09859

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5614#comment-337310

    REPLY: Hmmm Still not updated on the JAXA website I’ll wait. Anthony

  94. Regarding the ice bubbles in compressed ice. Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski the preeminent Ice Core scientist and the chair of a IPCC group on Ice cores broke with the ICPP over the non-inclusion of corrections for the selective hydrate formation of various gases inside pressurized Ice. CO2 selectively forms hydrates at a much lower pressure than other gases. So comparing the ice bubble air lin a core to determine old atmospheric CO2 levels is a fools errand, if uncorrected. The IPCC and the Moana Loa fools refused to do so, and as a result the “well established” levels of pre-industrial CO2 are all wrong.

    Georg Beck recovered manypublishe scienitfic reports documenting scientific laboratory measurements of CO2 throughout he 18th and19th centuries. These are Lab results done by diverse teams of scientists in various nations, over long periods and include efforts by 4 Noble prize winners. and total 90,000 or more measurements. The 19th century average CO2 reading was 335 ppm, not 280 ppm. Rhe data even reveasl peaks due to Volcanic eruptions, Tambora and Krakatoa at the beginning and end of the 19th century peaking at 444 ppm. Some 60 ppm higher than current CO2 readings.

    The CO2 ice core measurements without proper adjustment for clathrate formation are a scientific scandal. As is the phony smooth Moana Loa marriage of ice core data and its current CO2 readings, that we have all seen numerous times. To make the smooth match early Moana Loa scientists matched data separated by 83 years, as though the data fit in time perfectly! The fix was in, in the 1950s when Moana Loa started recording CO2 levels.
    Dr Callendar anealy AGW alrmist inthe1950s even trashed the19th century lab data in a paper questioning the scientific rigor,of one small team, and by inference discrediting all the other independent efforts. As though lab measurements are more imprecise than any assumed proxy for CO2.

  95. stas 09:48:26

    That’s very interesting. Just another nail in the wall. I mean brick in the coffin.
    ============================================

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